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Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

Venetian Bites

In Italy, Quick & Easy on November 2, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Cichetti by the Calli

Eating Italian – pizzas, pastas and lasagnas. Few actually know that eating Venetian, however, is a trickier affair. Cichetti (pronounced as chee-ket-tee) is Venice’s answer to tapas – small portions of appetizing snacks that tickle your taste buds seductively.

Cichetti usually comes in an assortment of cubed octopus, small sarde in saór (fried sardines) and marinated anchovies. The result: a rare flavour of fresh lemony seafood in its simplicity. It literally tastes of Venice.

Where to Find the Best:  There are tons of restaurants in Venice that serve up tantalizing cichetti. Cantine del Vino gia Schiavi in the Dorsoduro district reinvents cichetti. Slurp your ombra (small glass of wine) while biting on these petite canapes on one of those slow and lazy Sunday afternoons. Oh, it gets crowded on some days. Fret not, bring the feast onto the staccato footsteps – watch as a gondola slowly rows by. Or why not turn your feast into a picnic and munch your cichetti onboard a Venice gondola ride?

While some cantines serve up seafood cichetti,  small palates of cheese or cured meat also dominate their menus. With luck, you might be chancing upon quality ham that could make you sit up and think.

What’s Next: After some quick bites, head out to Piazza San Marcos for some Spritz to wash down the oil. For most, the Venetian typical aperitif is drank before meals and serves to whet the apetite. It’s a potent concoction of carbonated water, white wine, lemon or olive and usually Campari.

There’s no harm in having the aperitif after meals, though an Italian would probably give you a disapproving look. Who cares, as long as you’re in Venice?

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